Voters fear Qantas sale will hit jobs and regional services

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Voters fear Qantas sale will hit jobs and regional services

A strong majority of voters in marginal seats believe the takeover of Qantas will see job losses and regional services cut, according to an ACTU poll.

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A strong majority of voters in marginal seats believe the takeover of Qantas will see job losses and regional services cut, according to an ACTU poll.

Details of the poll results show 80% of marginal seat voters say the Federal Government isn't doing enough to stop Australian businesses being sold overseas and jobs lost offshore.

The polling shows high levels of community concern over the impact of the sale on Australian jobs, rural and regional airline services and safety standards, with 79% of voters saying they oppose the sale of Qantas.

The independent polling was commissioned by unions representing Qantas's more than 37,000 Australian employees and was conducted last week by independent polling company Auspoll in the marginal Coalition electorates of Bass (Tas), Kingston (SA), Wakefield (SA), Hasluck (WA), Solomon (NT), Lindsay (NSW), Bonner (QLD), and Moreton (QLD).

Safety compromised

The poll shows that only 12% of voters support the Federal Government putting no conditions on the Qantas takeover, while 80% oppose a 'hands-off' approach.

The ACTU says the poll shows voters believe the takeover of Qantas will mean services to regional areas will suffer (75% agree), jobs and conditions of employees would be cut (70% agree), and that there is a greater chance that safety will be compromised in the pursuit of profit (nearly two-thirds, or 64% agree).

The results show 66% of voters do not think the Qantas sale is in Australia's national interest, 67% believe it will not be in the interest of ordinary travellers, 81% say it will be bad for people living in regional areas and 80% say it will be bad for Australian jobs.

Eight out of 10 people surveyed also believe the Federal Government was not doing enough to prevent Australian business being sold overseas and jobs lost offshore while fewer than one in 10 (8%) thought the Coalition was doing enough.

Strict conditions

Commenting on the polling, ACTU Secretary, Greg Combet, said the Federal Government must impose strict and enforceable conditions on the takeover or stop the proposed sale of Qantas.

'The Government needs to act to prevent aircraft maintenance services jobs going off-shore, protect airline routes and services to regional Australia, and stop customer service jobs in Qantas also being sent overseas,' he said. 'All of the national interest issues surrounding the Qantas sale need to be examined by a parliamentary inquiry.'

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